Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference

A Select Committee on a Certain Maritime Incident has been appointed to inquire into and report by 23 October 2002 on the following matters:

  1. the so-called ‘children overboard’ incident, where an Indonesian vessel was intercepted by HMAS Adelaide within Australian waters reportedly 120 nautical miles off Christmas Island, on or about 6 October 2001;
  2. issues directly associated with that incident, including:
    1. the role of Commonwealth agencies and personnel in the incident, including the Australian Defence Force, Customs, Coastwatch and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority,
    2. the flow of information about the incident to the Federal Government, both at the time of the incident and subsequently,
    3. Federal Government control of, and use of, information about the incident, including written and oral reports, photographs, videotapes and other images, and
    4. the role of Federal Government departments and agencies in reporting on the incident, including the Navy, the Defence organisation, the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Office of National Assessments; and
  3. operational procedures observed by the Royal Australian Navy and by relevant Commonwealth agencies to ensure the safety of asylum seekers on vessels entering or attempting to enter Australian waters.
  4. in respect of the agreements between the Australian Government and the Governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea regarding the detention within those countries of persons intercepted while travelling to Australia, publicly known as the ‘Pacific Solution’:
    1. the nature of negotiations leading to those agreements,
    2. the nature of the agreements reached,
    3. the operation of those arrangements, and
    4. the current and projected cost of those arrangements.

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